Examples Of Conformity In One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest

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Peril of Conformity Society often portrays a certain stereotype that people tend to become in order to be accepted; presently conformity pushes people to their breaking point, supporting the idea that conformity can be a dangerous force. The 1950’s, when Ken Kesey wrote One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, were full of conformity, judgment and suspicion due to the United States being involved in the Cold War. Anyone who acted of out the “norm” was viewed with distrust. People began to question forces with great power, therefore questioning conformity. Only some connected the two, but those who raised objection to powerful forces were looked down upon (“One Flew Over” 227). In the novel, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, a psychiatric ward in Oregon holds several men who have conformed into the people that Nurse Ratched, the head of the ward, wants them to be. The protagonist, Randle McMurphy, comes to the ward trying to prove to the men that they …show more content…

“McMurphy eventually helps instill the other men on the ward with the confidence to face life again” (Slater 124). He comes to the realization of the power that Nurse Ratched has and becomes afraid; McMurphy succumbs to the pressures that all the other men have faced and conforms out of fear. Nurse Ratched spoke, “’Mr. McMurphy, I’m warning you!’” in “a tight whine like an electric saw ripping through pine” (Kesey 144). This supports that even if McMurphy is the leader or the strongest man alive, the fear of strength in large establishments destroys the confidence that McMurphy once had; it resulted in the thought of life and death-the outcome being death. He concludes that Nurse Ratched has the power to “punish him” if she pleased, which in return could potentially kill him. Kesey uses this in One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest to prove that the idea of death has a big influence on conforming (Martin

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